1 Peter 2:23
Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Who, when he was reviled.—This “who” might be rendered by and yet He. Conscious though He was of being blameless (John 8:46), it did not make Him retaliate upon His accusers by counter-accusations, true though these might have been. The word here translated “revile” is the same which reappears in 1Peter 3:9 as “railing,” and a sample of what it means is given in John 9:28. The servants would be particularly liable to be thus abused, and instances are not wanting in the comic poets where they lose their self-control under it, and openly rate their owners in return. The “suffering,” on the other hand, implies actual bodily maltreatment, “buffeting” (1Peter 2:20) and the like, to which the slaves could not answer directly by striking in return, but would sometimes take their revenge by “threats” of what they would do—run away, or burn the house, or poison the food, or do little acts of spite. Instances of our Lord’s silence or meekness under “reviling” may be seen in John 7:20; John 8:40; Matthew 12:24, as well as in the accounts of the Passion. There are no recorded instances, until the last day of His life, of His “suffering” in the sense here intended; but the tense of the verbs “reviled,” “threatened,” “committed,” shows that the writer was not thinking exclusively of any one occasion, but of our Lord’s constant habit, though naturally there would be uppermost in St. Peter’s mind the hours while he stood warming himself at Caiaphas’ fire, with the denial on his lips, and saw the Messiah blindfold and buffeted. He is also thinking of Isaiah 53:7.

But committed himself.—This was His only form of revenge. As the Greek does not express the grammatical object of the verb, it is better not to supply one so definite as “Himself” or “His cause,” rather, “but would leave it to Him that judgeth righteously.” M. Renan (Antéchrist, p. 117) says that this passage “requires it to be understood that the incident of Jesus praying for His murderers was not known by Peter;” and other critics have held the same view. But (1) St. Peter, as we have said, is speaking of what was the constant habit of Jesus, not of what He did on the day of His crucifixion only. (2) The word does not necessarily imply any act or word of direct appeal to God to judge between His murderers and Him; on the contrary, the leading thought is that of “passing the matter over” to God (comp. Romans 12:19), by simply refusing to take any action in self-defence. (3) It would have been unlike the usual method of the Epistles to make direct reference to any of the minor details of our Lord’s history. (4) Such a reference here would be beyond the point, for St. Peter said nothing in 1Peter 2:19 about praying for the bad masters, and here he is only justifying by Christ’s example the position he had laid down there.

To him that judgeth righteously.—God is described in the aspect which is most reassuring to men who are suffering unjustly (2Thessalonians 1:5). This looks back to that “consciousness of God” spoken of in 1Peter 2:19. There is a curious various reading which is adopted by the Vulgate, though without any solid authority, and evidently a mere blunder, the interpretation of which we may leave to those who are committed to it: “He gave Himself over to him (or, to one) who judgeth unrighteously.” St. Cyprian seems to have understood it of our Lord’s voluntary self-surrender to Pilate.

2:18-25 Servants in those days generally were slaves, and had heathen masters, who often used them cruelly; yet the apostle directs them to be subject to the masters placed over them by Providence, with a fear to dishonour or offend God. And not only to those pleased with reasonable service, but to the severe, and those angry without cause. The sinful misconduct of one relation, does not justify sinful behaviour in the other; the servant is bound to do his duty, though the master may be sinfully froward and perverse. But masters should be meek and gentle to their servants and inferiors. What glory or distinction could it be, for professed Christians to be patient when corrected for their faults? But if when they behaved well they were ill treated by proud and passionate heathen masters, yet bore it without peevish complaints, or purposes of revenge, and persevered in their duty, this would be acceptable to God as a distinguishing effect of his grace, and would be rewarded by him. Christ's death was designed not only for an example of patience under sufferings, but he bore our sins; he bore the punishment of them, and thereby satisfied Divine justice. Hereby he takes them away from us. The fruits of Christ's sufferings are the death of sin, and a new holy life of righteousness; for both which we have an example, and powerful motives, and ability to perform also, from the death and resurrection of Christ. And our justification; Christ was bruised and crucified as a sacrifice for our sins, and by his stripes the diseases of our souls are cured. Here is man's sin; he goes astray; it is his own act. His misery; he goes astray from the pasture, from the Shepherd, and from the flock, and so exposes himself to dangers without number. Here is the recovery by conversion; they are now returned as the effect of Divine grace. This return is, from all their errors and wanderings, to Christ. Sinners, before their conversion, are always going astray; their life is a continued error.Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again - He did not use harsh and opprobrious words in return for those which he received:

(1) He was reviled. He was accused of being a seditious man; spoken of as a deceiver; charged with being in league with Beelzebub, the "prince of the devils" and condemned as a blasphemer against God. This was done:

(a) by the great and the influential of the land;

(b) in the most public manner;

(c) with a design to alienate his friends from him;

(d) with most cutting and severe sarcasm and irony; and,

(e) in reference to everything that would most affect a man of delicate and tender sensibility.

(2) he did not revile those who had reproached him. He asked that justice might be done. He demanded that if he had spoken evil, they should bear witness of the evil; but beyond that he did not go. He used no harsh language. He showed no anger. He called for no revenge. He prayed that they might robe forgiven. He calmly stood and bore it all, for he came to endure all kinds of suffering in order that he might set us an example, and make an atonement for our sins.

When he suffered, he threatened not - That is, when he suffered injustice from others, in his trial and in his death, he did not threaten punishment. He did not call down the wrath of heaven. He did not even predict that they would be punished; he expressed no wish that they should be.

But committed himself to him that judgeth righteously - Margin, his cause. The sense is much the same. The meaning is, that he committed his cause, his name, his interests, the whole case, to God. The meaning of the phrase "that judgeth righteously" here is, that God would do him exact justice. Though wronged by people, he felt assured that he would do right. He would rescue his name from these reproaches; he would give him the honor in the world which he deserved; and he would bring upon those who had wronged him all that was necessary in order to show his disapprobation of what they had done, and all that would be necessary to give the highest support to the cause of virtue. Compare Luke 23:46. This is the example which is set before us when we are wronged. The whole example embraces these points:

(1) We should see to it that we ourselves are guiltless in the matter for which we are reproached or accused. Before we fancy that we are suffering as Christ did, we should be sure that our lives are such as not to deserve reproach. We cannot indeed hope to be as pure in all things as he was; but we may so live that if we are reproached and reviled we may be certain that it is not for any wrong that we have done to others, or that we do not deserve it from our fellow-men.

(2) When we are reproached and reviled, we should feel that we were called to this by our profession; that it was one of the things which we were taught to expect when we became Christians; that it is what the prophets and apostles endured, and what the Master himself suffered in an eminent degree; and that if we meet with the scorn of the great, the frivilous, the rich, the powerful, it is no more than the Saviour did, and no more than we have been taught to expect will be our portion. It may be well, too, to remember our unworthiness; and to reflect, that though we have done no wrong to the individual who reviles us yet that we are sinners, and that such reproaches may not be a useless admonisher of our being guilty before God. So David felt when reproached by Shimei: "So let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?" 2 Samuel 16:10.

(3) when this occurs, we should calmly and confidently commit our cause to God. Our name, our character, our influence, our reputation, while living and after we are dead, we should leave entirely with him. We should not seek nor desire revenge. We should not call down the wrath of God on our persecutors and slanderers. We should calmly feel that God will give us the measure of reputation which we ought to have in the world, and that he will suffer no ultimate injustice to be done us. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass; and he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon-day," Psalm 37:5-6. The Latin Vulgate has here, "But he committed himself to him who judged him unjustly," judicanti se injuste; that is, to Pontius Pilate, meaning that he left himself in his hands, though he knew that the sentence was unjust. But there is no authority for this in the Greek, and this is one of the instances in which that version departs from the original.

23. Servants are apt to "answer again" (Tit 2:9). Threats of divine judgment against oppressors are often used by those who have no other arms, as for instance, slaves. Christ, who as Lord could have threatened with truth, never did so.

committed himself—or His cause, as man in His suffering. Compare the type, Jer 11:20. In this Peter seems to have before his mind Isa 53:8. Compare Ro 12:19, on our corresponding duty. Leave your case in His hands, not desiring to make Him executioner of your revenge, but rather praying for enemies. God's righteous judgment gives tranquillity and consolation to the oppressed.

By Christ’s being reviled, we are to understand all those injurious words, reproaches, slanders, blasphemies, which his persecutors cast out against him.

Reviled not again; therefore when he told the Jews they were of their father the devil, John 8:44, that was not a reviling them, but a just accusation of them, or reproof of their devilish behaviour.

When he suffered; when he was affected not only with verbal but real injuries, buffeted, spit upon, crowned with thorns, crucified.

He threatened not; he was so far from avenging himself, or recompensing evil for evil, that he did not so much as threaten what he would afterward do to them.

But committed himself; or his cause; neither is in the Greek, but either may be well supplied, and to the same purpose: the sense is, Christ did not retaliate, nor act any thing out of private revenge, but so referred himself, and the judgment of his cause, to his Father’s good pleasure, as rather to desire pardon for his persecutors, than vengeance on them, Luke 23:34.

To him that judgeth righteously: the apostle adds this of God’s judging righteously, for the comfort of servants to whom he speaks, as Ephesians 6:8,9 Col 3:24 4:1, and for the terror of masters, that the former might learn patience, and the latter moderation. Who when he was reviled, reviled not again,.... When he was reproached as a glutton, a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners, all the reply he made was, that Wisdom is justified of her children; and when he was charged with casting out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, he defended himself, not with bad language, but with strong reasonings; and when he was said to be a Samaritan, and had a devil, his only answer was, that he had not, that he honoured his Father, and they dishonoured him; and when he was reviled on the cross, by those that passed by, by the chief priests, and Scribes, and the thieves that were crucified with him, he made no return, he opened not his mouth, and much less in a recriminating way,

When he suffered he threatened not; when he endured buffetings, and scourgings in his body, when the officers in the palace of the high priests spit in his face, buffeted him, and smote him with the palms of their hands, and bid him prophesy who smote him, all which were very provoking; yet he said not one word to them, much less threatened them with what he would do to them for such usage another day, when he would let them know, with vengeance, who it was that smote him; no, he took all patiently from them, and from Pilate, and the Roman soldiers, when scourged by them; he gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; and when he suffered crucifixion, and was put to such distressing pains and agonies, he did not threaten his crucifiers with a future judgment, when he would take vengeance, and execute his wrath upon them, but prays to his Father for the forgiveness of their sins: and, as it follows,

but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously; he commended his Spirit, or soul, to God his Father, and committed his cause to him, to vindicate it in what way he should think fit, who he knew was the Judge of all the earth, that would do right; and so the Syriac version supplies it with "his judgment": which he left with God, the righteous Judge, to whom vengeance belongs; and which is an example, and an instruction to the saints to do so likewise; not to render railing for railing, or to seek revenge, but to leave their cause with their God, who will, in his own time, avenge the wrongs and injuries done them. The Vulgate Latin version reads, contrary to all the Greek copies, and other versions, "but delivered himself to him that judgeth unjustly"; the sense of which is, that Christ delivered himself into the hands of Pilate, who unjustly condemned him to death; but is neither the reading, nor sense of the text.

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but {24} committed himself to him {25} that judgeth righteously:

(24) He shows them a remedy against injuries, that is, that they commend their cause to God, by the example of Christ.

(25) He seems now to turn his speech to masters, who have also themselves a master and judge in heaven, who will justly avenge the injuries that are done to servants, without any respecting of people.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Peter 2:23. The second feature: the patience of Christ in His sufferings. A reference, however slight, to Isaiah 53:7, cannot but be recognised.

ὃς λοιδορούμενος οὐκ ἀντελοιδόρει, πάσχων οὐκ ἠπείλει] De Wette and Wiesinger rightly draw attention to the climax between λοιδορ. and πάσχων, ἀντελοιδ. and ἠπείλει; λοιδορία omnis generis injuriae verbales; παθήματα omnis generis injuriae reales (Gerhard).

ἀντιλοιδ. ἅπ. λεγ.; cf. ἀντιμετρέω Luke 6:38.

ἠπείλει, is here used of threat of vengeful recompense. The announcements of divine judgment on unbelievers, to which Christ more than once gave expression, are of a different nature, and cannot be considered as an ἀπειλεῖν, in the sense in which that word is here used. Comp. with this passage the exhortation of the apostle, chap. 1 Peter 3:9.

παρεδίδου δὲ τῷ κρίνοντι δικαίως] παρεδίδου not in a reflexive sense: “He committed Himself” (Winer p. 549 [E. T. 738]; de Wette),[153] neither is causam suam (Gerhard, etc.) nor ΚΡΊΣΙΝ (from ΚΡΊΝΟΝΤΙ) to be supplied; the supplement is rather ΛΟΙΔΟΡΟῦΣΘΑΙ and ΠΆΣΧΕΙΝ (Wiesinger, Schott). Luther’s translation is good: “He left it to Him.”[154]

Didymus arbitrarily understands παρεδίδου of Christ’s prayer for His enemies;[155] the meaning is rather that Christ left it to the God who judges justly to determine what should be the consequences of the injustice done to Him on those who wrought it. That His desire was only that they should be punished, is not contained in ΠΑΡΕΔΊΔΟΥ (similarly Hofmann). Consequently the reference formerly made in this commentary to Jeremiah 9:20; Jeremiah 20:12, as illustrative of the passage, is erroneous. With Τῷ ΔΙΚΑΊΩς ΚΡΊΝΟΝΤΙ, cf. chap. 1 Peter 1:17 : ΤῸΝ ἈΠΡΟΣΩΠΟΛΉΠΤΩς ΚΡΊΝΟΝΤΑ, “a direct designation of God, whose just judgment is the outcome of His being” (Wiesinger).

[153] In Mark 4:29, too, to which de Wette appeals, παραδιδόναι has no reflexive force; see Meyer on this passage.

[154] The Vulg. strangely translates: tradebat judicanti se injuste; according to which Lorinus interprets: tradidit se Christus sponte propriaque voluntate tum Judaeis, tum Pilato ad mortem oblatus. Cyprian (de bono patientiae) and Paulinus (Ephesians 2) quote the passage as it stands in the Vulg. Augustin (Tract. in John xxi.) and Fulgentius (ad Trasimarch. lib. I.), on the other hand, have juste.

[155] From the fact that Christ’s prayer is not mentioned here, de Wette unwarrantably concludes that it was unknown to the writer of the epistle.1 Peter 2:23. Combination of the Scripture οὐκ ἀνοίγει τὸ στόμα (Isaiah 43:7) with the saying ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν και διώξωσιν (Matthew 5:11). For λοιδ. cf. 1 Corinthians 4:12. λοιδορούμενοι εὐλογοῦμεν of Matt. l.c.), John 9:28, the Jews ἐλοιδόρησαν the once blina man as Jesus’ disciple and, for O.T. type Deuteronomy 33:8, ἐλοιδόρησαν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ ὕδατος ἀντιλογίας (Levi = Christ the Priest, cf. ἀντιλογία, Hebrews 12:3).—οὐκ ἠπείλει the prophecy ἀπειλήσει τοῖς ἀπειθοῦσιν (Isaiah 66:14) is yet to be fulfilled (Luke 13:27). Oec. notes that He threatened Judas, seeking to deter him and reviled the Pharisees, but not in retort.—παρεδίδου. It is doubtful what object, it any, is to be supplied. The narrative of the Passion suggests two renderings: (i.) He delivered Himself (ἑαυτὸν omitted as in Plato, Phaedrus, 250 E). cf. Luke 23:46 (Psalm 31:5), παρατίθεμαι τὸ πνεῦμά μου and Isaiah 53:6; κύριος παρέδωκεν αὐτόν, Isaiah 53:12 παρεδόθη. (ii.) He delivered the persecutors (latent in passive participles λοιδ. and πάσχων), when He said Father forgive them. In ordinary Greek παραδίδωμι without object = permit; but this hardly justifies the rendering He gave way to (cf. δότε τόπον τῇ ὀργῇ, Romans 12:19), i.e., permitted God to fulfil His will. But most probably παρ. τῷ … represents the Hebrew ellipse, גל אלֹ י״ commit to Jehovah (Psalm 22:9) for the normal commit, way, works, cause; LXX (Syriac) has ἤλπισεν = Matthew 27:43. Compare Joseph. Ant. vii. 9, 2, David περὶ πάντων ἐπιτρέψας κριτῇ τῷ θεῷ.—τῷ κρίνοντι δικαίως, cf. 1 Peter 1:17; the award was the glory.23. Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again] Here again, though we have no direct quotation, it is impossible to overlook the allusive reference to the silence of the sufferer as portrayed in Isaiah 53:7. Personal recollection was, however, the main source of the vivid picture which the Apostle draws, dwelling mainly on those features which the life of the slaves best enabled them to reproduce. They were tempted to return “railing for railing” (chap. 1 Peter 3:9). Christ had met taunts and revilings with a silent patience. They in their passionate indignation too often threatened revenge in some near or distant future. He, though he might have asked His Father for twelve legions of angels, had uttered no threats of judgment, but had committed Himself (as in the words on the Cross, “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” Luke 23:46) to the righteous Judge. So should the slaves who suffered wrongfully commit their cause to God in the full assurance that they will one day have righteous judgment. The strange rendering in the Vulgate, “tradebat judicanti se injuste” as though the words referred not to God, but to Pilate, for which there is no Greek MS. authority, must be regarded as an arbitrary alteration made on the assumption that this was the crowning act of submissive patience.1 Peter 2:23. Οὐκ ἀντελοιδόρει, He reviled not again) Isaiah 53:7.—οὐκ ἠπείλει, He threatened not) although, as Lord, He might have done so.[20] The more befitting is it that servants should exercise patience.[21]—παρεδίδου δὲ, but committed) viz. the judgment.—δικαίως, righteously) The righteousness of God is the foundation of tranquility to the afflicted.

[20] And although He openly declared His coming again, Matthew 26:64.—V. g.

[21] It is in fact arms of this sort which are often used by those who are feeble: such as slaves especially were, who might therefore be readily disposed to threaten their masters with the Divine judgment.—V. g.Verse 23. - Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not (comp. Isaiah 53:7). The Lord again and again denounced the hypocrisy and unbelief of the Pharisees; he bade Caiaphas remember the coming judgment. But that was the language of prophetic warning, the sternness of love. He sets before them the impending punishment, that they may take heed in time and escape from the wrath to come. In the midst of his strongest invective against the sins and hollow unreality of Pharisaism there is an outburst of the deepest love, the tenderest concern (Matthew 23:27). But committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. The verb "committed" παρεδίδου) is without an object in the original. Most commentators supply "himself," or "his cause;" others, "his sufferings;" some, as Alford, "those who inflicted them." Perhaps the last explanation is the best: he left them to God, to God's mercy, if it might be; to his judgment, if it must be. There may be a reference to his prayer, "Father, forgive them." Compare by contrast the language of Jeremiah, speaking in the spirit of the Old Testament (Jeremiah 11:20 and Jeremiah 20:12). There is a curious reading, entirely without the authority of existing Greek manuscripts, represented by the Vulgate, Tradebat judicanti se injuste, as if the words were understood of the Lord's submitting himself "to one who judged unrighteously," that is, to Pilate. Reviled - again (ἀντελοιδόρει)

Only here in the New Testament.

Committed himself (παρεδίδου)

But this gives a reflexive force to the verb which has no parallel. Commentators are divided, some supplying his cause, as Rev., in margin; others, his judgment; others, his revilers. Better, the subject of the contest - his insults and injuries. Salmond renders, but left it to him, etc.

Judgeth righteously

Compare without respect of person, 1 Peter 1:17.

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